© 2010

Flexible Shift Planning in the Service Industry

The Case of Physicians in Hospitals


Part of the Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems book series (LNE, volume 640)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Jens O. Brunner
    Pages 1-4
  3. Jens O. Brunner
    Pages 5-12
  4. Jens O. Brunner
    Pages 39-72
  5. Jens O. Brunner
    Pages 73-97
  6. Jens O. Brunner
    Pages 99-101
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 103-117

About this book


The book presents new ideas to model and solve the flexible shift planning problem of personnel workers in the service industry. First, a new modeling approach is proposed that requires shifts to be generated implicitly rather than employing a predefined set of shift types like three 8-hour or two 12-hour shifts to cover varying forecast demand. The objective is to minimize the total cost of the assignments given the general and individual labor restrictions.

Second, to find high quality assignments two solution methodologies are presented. A heuristic decomposition strategy decomposes the problem into weekly subproblems whereas a branch-and-price algorithm that uses several branching rules decomposes the model by worker types. The master problem uses a set covering formulation whereas the subproblems are mixed integer programs. The modeling and solution methodologies are developed and tested using the example of physicians from an anesthesia department of a German university hospital.


Branch-and-Price Column Generation Hospital Implicit Shift Scheduling Integer Programming Physician Scheduling algorithms hospitals quality scheduling

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.LS für Technische Dienstleistungen undTU MünchenMünchenGermany

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals
Consumer Packaged Goods